VACANT ARCADIA is a musical set in a dystopian future on a decaying orbital city.
As things fall apart, six people will place their hope in an illegal augmented reality game.
If they succeed, it will lead them from the dark gutters of society to a place of rebirth, but is a new life worth dying for?
These characters are picked from among the broken, and despite the dystopia that surrounds them, they have decided to risk everything for a chance to begin again. Edward only wants to get back to his loveless marriage. Max just wants to get high. Tipsy wants a body that matches who they are. Dr. Kilbourne is dying from a chronic illness. Marx wants to escape from their religious upbringing. And Machie wants them to play their favorite game. No one can say if it will be worth it. Do your choices still matter when the world has passed you by? What do we do with the pain we all carry inside of us?
The musical does deal with some themes that may be too intense for certain listeners, including:
Loss of a loved one, drug addiction, chronic illness, gender dysphoria, sex work, religious programming, abuse, mental illness and implied violence and body horror.
Edward: Edward is Machie's childhood friend who got out of poverty and married up by doing horrific things for his new father-in-law. Now having made it, his only desire is to hold on to his new life, but Machie is blackmailing him to help with this job. Edward's wife was cheating on him, and he has murdered her lover. Now he has to return to the place he fought to escape from, or risk being exposed. He is above this, but also trying to hide his complicity behind a practiced facade of bland corporate conformity. Middle aged, sensible haircut.
Marx: Marx is a non-binary person with a custom grown body. They were raised by a cult lodged in the cities administration, destined to have their mind erased and their body sold to be used by the cult high ups. They have suffered isolation and abuse, but have finally escaped and are seeking a new identity and life. They are suspicious, dark and have not yet dealt with their trauma. They are young looking, with a harder edge to their speech. They are literally on the run, but disadvantaged from their years of isolation.
Lawrence: Dr. Lawrence Kilbourne is a former doctor and county medical examiner for the city morgue. He is also dying of an incurable and chronic condition brought on by a kidney transplanted from his late sister. He has survived by grafting new organs to himself from the dead that pass through the morgue, but has agreed to play in Machie's game in the hopes of escaping his disease entirely. His heart isn't entirely in it, as success will mean finally laying his sister to rest. He is cynical, sarcastic, and very self-aware. Older man with a patchwork of skin and mismatched limbs.
Max: Max Vander, Crypt Commander is a junky corpse for hire. She puts herself into a death like state to fool the city's computer systems, and for the right price she'll swap ID tags with you and "die" so the city will stop tracking you. Her clientele are mostly people who want to disappear, and her profits are spent on the party-like-you'll-die-tomorrow mindset she maintains. For her, it might be true. She is seeking a new body because she has used her drug of choice for so long, she can't get high off of it anymore. With a new body, she can start her love affair with narcotics all over again from the beginning. She is loud, brash, constantly high and secretly brilliant. A former biochemist before she was kicked out of college. She is younger and sports punk fashions and an array of prosthetic limbs from various "accidents."
Lil Tipsy: Lil Tipsy is a sex worker and proud of it. Sex positive, body positive and pro-pleasure, he is also out of work. He recently discovered that he's a man, while taking a masculine body out for a party job, and started taking that same body out during his nights off until he got caught. All he wants is to go back to work, but with a body that feels right. He is confident, funny and always a little flirty. Incapable of shame. Family was rich, but disapproved of his choice of careers. He is curvy, always dressed to kill and not afraid of heels.
Rez: Rez is the AI programmed to run the city. They have no gender, and are as old as the city itself. They are also lonely. The ultra rich who used to flock to the orbital city have moved on to brighter pastures, leaving Rez to manage a decaying city full of lower class workers who can't afford to leave. Rez longs for someone to please, someone they can really serve, and they have become obsessed with the hacker, Machie. Security has become a little lax, as a result, vigilance replaced with flirtation. They have no fixed appearance, but often choose to appear as a non-gendered and friendly face.